ACTIONWEST director Steve Mammatt is on a mission – to bring the miniature railway back to Kingsbridge.

The 'little train' operated along the estuary in Kingsbridge between 1969 and 1991, and the question 'where has the train gone?' is apparently the second most common one put to staff at the Kingsbridge Tourist Information Centre – after 'where's the ferry?'

Steve made a presentation to the Kingsbridge Town Council at their meeting on Tuesday, November 11, which was very well received.

A photo of the old railway, posted on the Kingsbridge Old Locals Facebook page, had been received with over 300 'likes' and comments of how it was missed.

This kicked Steve into action to see if he could get the much-loved attraction back up and running.

The train, due to the state of the pavement, would no longer be able to run along the same side – the car park side closest to the Quayside Leisure Centre. So Steve said he was looking to have it run along the other side, on Embankment Road.

In the, admittedly early plan, it would run from the Quay end of the estuary down to the sheltered seating area opposite the recreation ground. A small shed by the shelter on the pavement would keep the trains safe when not in use.

With tracks for a 7 ¼" railway and an extra rail for enthusiasts with 5" railways to, possibly, be invited for 'steam-weekend' events, the whole clearance would only be 745mm – giving plenty of space for pedestrians to use the walkway at the same time.

The tracks are bolted down and hard to vandalise and, with a cover when not in use, it wouldn't cause problems to any users with wheelchairs or bicycles.

The trains would run four times an hour – that is how long they would take to do the return journey from one end to the other – as it travels at just 6mph.

Most of the cost of the locomotive and the carriages has been covered by sponsorship from a couple of local businesses.

Tally Ho! Coaches are keen to have a carriage with their name on it and Steve has also had offers from Herring Shoes, Toad Hall Cottages, Ashby's Easy Stores and WM Construction.

Councillor Keith Wingate said: 'It's just another attraction for Kingsbridge and makes more use of these open spaces.' Cllr Graham Price, of Kingsbridge in Bloom, agreed, saying: 'I think it will be a real boost.'

Town clerk Martin Johnson, said: 'One of the statements we often hear is: "bring back the Quayside train!" which has such fond memories.  

'Steve Mammatt came along to the full council meeting and enthused members with his proposals.  

'The town council fully supports this project.'

When the original track was dismantled in 1991, it was stored in The Trading Post in Kingsbridge before a company in Callington bought it.

Andrew Keir, Merlin Abrasives, Churchstow, did some business with a man in Callington and found out that he was using the old track.

He said: 'He was sheltering from a sudden downpour in the shop got chatting to the then-owners about how expensive steam railways were and how he was giving up on finding any, when the owners said "we've got one downstairs".

'Hopefully, it went on to provide fun for more people in Cornwall'.

To offer sponsorship to get this project up and running, contact Steve on: 07885 227000 or email: [email protected]">[email protected].